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Pro Puppet

Pro Puppet [Kindle Edition]

James Turnbull , Jeffrey McCune
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £47.39
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Product Description

Product Description

Pro Puppet is an in-depth guide to installing, using, and developing the popular configuration management tool Puppet. The book is a comprehensive follow-up to the previous title Pulling Strings with Puppet. Puppet provides a way to automate everything from user management to server configuration. You'll learn how to create Puppet recipes, extend Puppet, and use Facter to gather configuration data from your servers.

Puppet is a must-have tool for system administrators, and Pro Puppet will teach you how to maximize its capabilities and customize it for your environment.

  • Install and configure Puppet to immediately start automating tasks and create reporting solutions
  • Learn insider tricks and techniques to better manage your infrastructure
  • Become a Puppet expert!

What you’ll learn

  • See how to install Puppet on a variety of platforms
  • Learn how to manage infrastructure with Puppet
  • Discover how to scale Puppet to suit small, medium, and large organizations
  • Learn how to integrate Puppet with other tools such as Cucumber and Nagios
  • Discover advanced Puppet techniques to make managing your environment easier
  • Learn how to develop and extend Puppet to suit your environment

Who this book is for

Systems administrators, implementers and systems integrators.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started with Puppet
  2. Building Hosts with Puppet
  3. Working with Environments
  4. Puppet Scalability
  5. Externalizing Puppet Configuration
  6. Exporting and Storing Configuration
  7. Puppet Consoles: Dashboard and The Foreman
  8. Tools and Integration
  9. Reporting with Puppet
  10. Extending Facter and Puppet
  11. Marionette Collective
  12. Working with Puppet

About the Author

James Turnbull is the author of five technical books about open source software and a longtime member of the open source community. James authored the first and second books about Puppet, and works for Puppet Labs, running client services. James speaks regularly at conferences including OSCON,, FOSDEM, OpenSourceBridge, DevOpsDays and a number of others. He is a past president of Linux Australia, has run and serves on the program committee of and OSCON. James is Australian but currently lives in Portland, Oregon. His interests include cooking, wine, political theory, photojournalism, philosophy, and most recently the Portland Timbers association football team.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2076 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1430230576
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (4 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005PZ28R8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James Turnbull is the author of six technical books about open source software and a long-time member of the open source community. James authored the first (and second!) books about Puppet and works for Venmo as VP of Engineering. He was previously at Puppet Labs running Operations and Professional Services.

James speaks regularly at conferences including OSCON,, FOSDEM, OpenSourceBridge, DevOpsDays and a number of others. He is a past president of Linux Australia, a former committee member of Linux Victoria, was Treasurer for 2008, and serves on the program committee of and OSCON.

In his spare time his interests include cooking, wine, political theory, photojournalism, philosophy, poetry, and cats.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful book spoilt by absimal proof reading 28 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I was really excited that James Turnbull was updating and expanding his original "Pulling Strings with Puppet".

However working through the many examples, I was quickly struck by how much of the syntax was riddled with typos and in some places simply wrong. Did anyone who was proof reading or acting as a technical reviewer actually try Mr. Turnbull's examples? I seriously doubt it!

What should have been a great book for getting you up and running with some great basic building blocks for your configuration management services while teaching you some cool new ways of doing things with Puppet, instead becomes a series of tiresome trawls through the errata, Server Fault forums, the puppet mailing list and bug tracker; as you try to work out why code you copied from the book fails to run.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starter book. 18 Feb 2013
By klokkie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Its a good book to get you going. But you will be disappointed if you hope to know puppet after reading the book. You can say I know a lot more about puppet. I think it gives you a good foundation of information so you can start looking on the internet for more. I guess as a dev. I was hoping to find more in terms of patterns best practices and organisation of files/ modules/ etc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One might also title it Pro Deployments 20 May 2011
By Sean P. Hull - Published on
Just finished reading Pro Puppet and I'm pretty impressed. If I were to summarize in a few short words I'd say this book could have easily been titled "Pro Deployments" as it really covers a whole host of tools that support Puppet and configuration management in general.

I am fairly new to puppet though I have a strong conceptual understanding of configuration management in general. Although puppet may be thought of as a tool to be used for very large environments, it can also be used to good advantage at smaller sites just for the versioning of your configs, and better testing.

For a quick summary of topics I found well covered here's a bullet point list:

o installing puppet, master & agent
o configuring your firewall appropriately
o managing your certificates for puppet
o applying a basic config as proof of concept
o digging in deeper with Puppet's declarative DSL
o using version control (git) with puppet - a big win for any environment
o brief mention of bootstrapping and provisioning - kickstart & preseed
o modules, classes, functions and templates
o building and managing your basic dev, test and production environments
o using a pre-commit hook with your version control system
o scaling puppet with apache & passenger
o adding a load balancer and clustering
o horizontal scaling puppet ca & masters
o external node classifications - allowing a more scalable solution for manifests & configs
o using LDAP for node information

Hitting chapter six really starts digging into some meaty topics including:

o virtualizing your configurations - applying conditionally or "realizing" to certain nodes
o enable queueing for more scalable puppet requests
o in-depth examples to manage ssh keys, nagios configs & load balancers with dynamic node configuration - awesome!
o using sqlite or mysql to store your puppet configs
o using web consoles such as dashboard and foreman
o creating puppet modules (like RPM packages)
o installing existing puppet modules (packages) from the puppet forge
o alternate DSL for puppet with Ruby DSL
o testing your configs without alternate test network - cucumber
o command line & dashboard reporting
o extending the facter database with custom environment variables

After all this material you might be stuck on the idea that Puppet does not operate in real-time. By default it is configured to refresh configs and services on your servers every thirty minutes. Of course you can do so manually, or adjust this parameter, but you may require real-time usage.

Enter Marionette Collective, an imaginative name for an add-on which extends Puppet to provide this more robust functionality.

Pro Puppet certainly introduces a wide range of real-world use-cases to the reader, which make the book very valuable. Using with version control, to manage dev, test and production, and scaling to handle large number of hosts are all key topics. What's more the method of automatically configuring nodes in your load balancer, nagios, or cacti reporting, is just a really great use of this technology.

What I found surprisingly missing though was any mention of using Puppet for provisioning or more specifically cloud deployments. This is I think a topic that everyone is talking about and one that few books are covering. An opportunity perhaps! Along with that, I would have liked to see a comprehensive discussion of different configuration management systems, such as cfengine, and chef, and why Puppet is the best and/or what the pros and cons of each are.

Despite those reservations, the book was excellent. If you've already decided to use puppet in your environment this is a very good volume to get you up to speed!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of puppet; poor book editing 13 July 2011
By Kristian Erik Hermansen - Published on
This is a great overview of Puppet software and the associated administration tools. I finished reading it on a flight from Orlando to Los Angeles, but the number of spelling mistakes and other editing errors I encountered irked me so much that I stopped marking them down. The editor should seriously have someone review the content again.

Other than the editing issues, I would give the book content four stars for touching on most of the features of puppet and how to integrate with other related software packages, such as mcollective. The author does point out many areas where puppet can be frustrating, but he recommends numerous methods to workaround such issues. The author goes on to talk about upcoming features in puppet 2.7 and beyond, so the content is forward-looking, even in the fast-paced community of puppet development.

I would recommend this book to those looking to gain mastery of puppet >= version 2.6.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excelent Content but could use some serious editing 22 Dec 2011
By Powertoaster - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed the book so far, it has definitely made learning puppet a much nicer experience.

I would have given it 5 stars except that this book and the source code that goes with it, is replete with typos and poor grammatical structure.
There are several sections in the book that seem quite disjointed, like the author knew where he was going in his head but spaced out a paragraph here or there.
The scary part is that I am only to chapter 2.

Most of the code examples do not run as is and need editing.

IMHO, this is a beta version book, and was rushed out with great content but very little editing or review.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Puppet, Love the book 30 May 2011
By Itamar Hassin - Published on
This book is an excellent Puppet book for beginners and professionals alike.
I manage a software team and have read this book cover-to-cover in order to study Puppet for our team's use on a daily basis.

Despite step-by-step instructions for the initial installation, I needed some tinkering since different OSs have slightly different distributions, but once I had a server and agent running on two different VMs (Ubuntu) - there was an "Aha!" moment when the agent had emacs automatically installed on it! Getting past the initial installation phase allowed me to really enjoy the rest of the book as well as enjoy Puppet itself.

Puppet is not trivial, but the book covers its concepts very clearly and one "gets" it quite early on (especially if you get your hands dirty and follow along the examples).

The book then expertly guides the reader to its "pro" section detailing use of Puppet with configuration management tools such as git and db-based storage.

It then goes on to detail how to use AMQ with Puppet for scaling. I doubt I will use such a robust configuration, but was thrilled to see how flexible and extensible Puppet is by use of load-balancers and integration with Apache/Passenger.

Overall, the book is well written, and I would highly recommend it as a *text book* for Puppet. This is a readable text book on the subject - not a reference manual, although it has countless links to the reference manuals.

I always wanted to learn Puppet, and this book certainly is the one to read if you're dealing with configuration management whether as a developer or a DevOps person.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best single source 27 July 2012
By Neal Brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been through the official puppet training and I still learn from this book. It is the best single source introduction to some difficult concepts. I would have paid a fortune for it last year when I wrote most of my puppet code. Now I have to go back and refactor my code to fix all the design flaws this book has revealed.

Do yourself a favor and start here, you can just read the first 2-3 chapters to get a decent grasp of the correct way to proceed. Don't just muddle through with the online docs and no real idea of how to structure your code and modules like I did.

Only deficiency that I see is that the high availability docs do not fully support Puppet Enterprise but that probably reflects the state of the product when the book was written. Still a worthwhile book if you are using Puppet Enterprise like we are.
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